Recently in Baking Tips category:

When I moved to France way back when, one of the first things I set out to buy was a kitchen scale. Kitchen scales are not difficult to find in Europe because most of the countries use weights for baking and in every other type of recipe. In spite of their ubiquity, it was hard to find a scale that measured in both in grams…

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A friend once told me that the one word which terrifies people, enough to dissuade them from tackling a recipe, was the word “thermometer.” Candy making generally requires the use of a thermometer and I’m not sure why people get uneasy around thermometers because like kitchen scales, when things are in precise measurements – like degrees, pounds, or grams – it’s pretty straightforward. In fact,…

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This isn’t the most photogenic of posts, but one of the dirty secrets of writing cookbooks is the dishes. And this season, as the cavalcade of cooking tips comes tumbling forth in anticipation of all the holidays – and the cooking and baking that go along with them – this is the best tip I’ve ever been given. Most of you probably know how many…

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Readers who are unfamiliar with the product, when they find it listed as an ingredient in a recipe, often ask: What is half-and-half? Half-and-half is a product that is composed of one-half cream and one-half whole milk. In the United States, the fat percentages of those products are 30 to 36%, and 3.25%, respectively. Store-bought half-and-half can be anywhere in the range of 10.5% to…

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Baking powder does not last forever. Because it’s sensitive to moisture and humidity, it generally has a shelf life of between six months to one year. Baking powder should be kept in a cool, dry place, such as inside a cabinet, and should be discarded when it is no longer active. (Its cousin, baking soda*, has an indefinite shelf life, although some manufacturers recommend changing…

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Because the question comes up from time to time, I thought I’d answer some questions about making substitutions in my recipes, and swapping out or deleting ingredients. The short answer is: Ingredients are added to recipes for a specific purpose and there is a reason that they are there. When you substitute or swap out ingredients, results will vary and won’t be the same as…

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Because I live outside the United States, sometimes people inquire about where they can obtain the same ingredients or equipment wherever they live—worldwide. Although I strive to make the recipes and stories as globalized as possible, infrequently I will use an ingredient or equipment that might not necessarily be as easily available to others as it is to me. So I’m sharing the same search…

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Clarified butter is used when you’ll be frying something either for an extended period or over high heat. For those times when you want the flavor of butter, rather than oil, you’ll want to use clarified butter can stand being cooked longer, and to a higher temperature, than regular butter. Clarifying butter removes the milk solids, which are what causes butter to burn if cooked for a…

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Here are some of the frequently asked questions people have about cocoa powder, and how it’s used in recipes: What’s the difference between Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder? Dutch-process cocoa powder is made from cocoa (cacao) beans that have been washed with a potassium solution, to neutralize their acidity. Natural cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are simply roasted, then pulverized into a…

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